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What to Read this Week: The works behind your favorite Netflix series

What to read this week

In “What To Read This Week,” CHALK editor Taylor Worden suggests novels, poetry, articles and other forms of writing, often centering around a timely topic or theme. This week, Worden suggests books to read if you loved their Netflix adaption. 

Oftentimes when choosing between a book or a movie to de-stress, the choice is clear: Where’s the remote? But if you need a break from watching your favorite show again — or if you want to read something you know you’re going to like — try picking up the book that inspired your favorite show.

Here are a few recommendations of books to check out if you loved the television shows they spawned, but want to see the story in its original glory.

'The Haunting of Hill House' by Shirley Jackson

Netflix’s adaptation of Shirley Jackson’s 1959 novel takes the same haunted house and completely re-imagines it in a modern context. If the story of the Crain family and the haunted house that plagues them kept you up for days, Jackson’s novel is bound to send the same shivers up your spine. 

In Jackson’s “The Haunting of Hill House,” the reader follows a trio of characters as they are invited to stay at Hill House as part of an experiment by a researching doctor. The longer the characters stay in the house, the more their sanity begins to wane. With different characters but the same devilish house, Jackson’s “The Haunting of Hill House” provides the same fears and suspense with its original plot that has spawned numerous remakes. 

'Mindhunter' by John E. Douglas and Mark Olshaker

If you loved Netflix’s true-crime, psychological thriller “Mindhunter” but left wanting even more details on the FBI agents’ exploits, the book the show was adapted from is packed with information. The show changes some aspects such as the agents’ names and takes a few artistic liberties, but the general focus of the show is directly based off of the book. The book, originally published in 1995, was a nonfiction work written by two retired FBI agents: John E. Douglas and Mark Olshaker. 

The two authors were part of the FBI’s serial crime unit, and spent their careers hunting notorious serial killers and subsequently furthering serial killer psychology through their research. As the show explores, the two agents were integral in solving various prominent cases and interviewed even more infamous serial killers including Dennis Rader, Edmund Kemper and Charles Manson.

While the show does a bone-chilling job of creating suspense, the book offers a plethora of details for the hard-core true-crime lovers. 

'The End of the F***ing World' by Charles Forsman

This Netflix original takes Charles Forsman’s 2011 graphic novel to expand upon and change aspects of the story of the two central characters: James and Alyssa.

The novel follows James and Alyssa—two lonely, outcast teenagers with hidden secrets and resentments — as they run away together and fall in love along the way. While the Netflix adaptation maintains a consistent and unique visual style, the novel employs beautiful yet simplistic illustration to tell the story of the two teenagers as they attempt to escape their trapped, mundane lives together. 

Although Netflix maintains aspects of Forsman’s dark themes in their original series, parts of the show have been significantly changed, including the ending of the first season. If you loved the story of James and Alyssa but want a slightly darker and original tale, check out Forsman’s graphic novel. 

Person 1: This song slaps.

Person 2: Your mom slaps.

Person 1: Thank you, my mom is a kind and wonderful lady.


 Person 1: I’m so sick of alcohol.

Person 2: I don’t know, I’m getting stronger every day. I love it.


Person 1: Do you do the vegan wrap here?

Person 2: We can do the chicken wrap with no cheese?

Person 1: I’ll take the Beyond Burger please. 


Person 1: Oh my God! I feel like I know you somehow…

Person 2: Yeah, we went to high school together. 

Person 1: Oh! *walks off*


Guy 1: Is the black market even real? Has anyone ever been on it?

Guy 2: I tried once but I couldn’t figure out how to get on.


Guy 1: I stayed up until 2 am watching Disney plus

Guy 2: I told my girlfriend I fell asleep but I was actually watching the Mandalorian.


Girl 1: How long have you guys been dating?

Girl 2: Since the summer, well actually for like two years but it’s a long story.


Girl 1: Who are you looking for?

Girl 2: This guy, wait I found him. Fanny pack boy. He flipped off my professor after a test and ran out of the classroom.


Girl 1: How did you choose KU? 

Girl 2: Honestly, I flipped a coin. 


Boy 1: Did I tell you? I think I had a threesome this weekend.

Boy 2: Woah, hold up. You think?


Boy 1: I was born a Phi Delt.

Boy 2: Please don’t ever say that again.


Girl 1: How do you get your boobs to look like that?

Girl 2: I don’t ever wear a bra? I don’t know. 


Girl 1: I just really want a guy to bend me over you know?

Girl 2: How do you know? You’re a virgin!


Guy: Sometimes I wish I could just be a dog and sleep all day. 

Girl: You wake up at like three every day. 

Guy: I know.

Girl: So…

Guy: So does that make me a dog or something?


Girl 1: I wish I was a little bit taller.

Girl 2: I wish I was balder.

Girl 1: I wish I had a...wait, wait, wait balder?


Guy 1: Let’s slap dicks

Guy 2: You ever pee and it feels like throwing up?


Woman 1: *holding baby* He would have been safer at the Hawk

Woman 2: Oh absolutely.


Girl 1: I would never date that guy.

Girl 2: Well, it depends how much money he has.


Girl 1: I’m going to the doctor to see if I have bronchitis before I hook up with him again.

Girl 2: Yeah that’s smart so you don’t give it to anyone else. 

Girl 1: No I mean I want to make sure I infect him.


Guy 1: I'm cutting some of my unnecessary costs, starting with Juuling.

Guy 2: Ight man, good luck.

Guy 1: Actually I might just start chewing


Guy 1: How was work?

Guy 2: My manager was chastising me for not dressing up in a Halloween costume, she doesn’t understand I’m strictly here to get paid.


Guy 1: I am so tired of this week, man

Guy 2: Dude it’s Monday

Guy 1: I know


Person#1: I want to be on the first ship to mars

Person#2: Not me, I doubt they have Wi-Fi

Perons#1: Yeah but at least they’re evolving up there. We’re all just devolving.


Girl 1: Um, I don’t eat pig.

Girl 2: You eat bacon all the time, bitch.


Guy 1: You better get going. 

Guy 2: Yeah, see ya. I’m off to get some Adderall.


Girl 1: Are you home right now?

Girl 2: Yeah, why?

Girl 1: I bought a cat


Girl 1: I just don't understand what fishing is for.

Girl 2: I don't know. Food, maybe?


Guy: I’m just gonna have to like carry an entire box of spiders up the hill tomorrow.

Girl: What?

Guy: Yeah, just like a hundred spiders in a box.


Guy 1: Sometimes ya just gotta give yourself a haircut.

Guy 2: Dude, you shaved half your head. That’s not a haircut, that’s a mess.


Girl 1: Can you eat fruit raw?

Girl 2: How else are you supposed to eat it?


Girl: That class is killing us. ​But they say rest is for the dead.

Guy: Well, at least we'll be rested.


Girl: She's not in class this semester

Guy: Maybe she's dead

Girl: Or studying abroad